Bank Executive Charged With Receiving Bribes From Oxford Collection Agency
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILBUR TATE III, 48, of Dacula, Ga., was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to commit bank bribery while he was an executive at U.S. Bank in Ohio. TATE appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker in Atlanta and was released on a $50,000 bond.
According to the complaint and court documents filed in related cases, Oxford Collection Agency was a private financial services company that engaged in accounts receivables management, primarily debt collecting, with offices in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. Between 2007 and 2011, Oxford Collection Agency executives engaged in a multi-year scheme to defraud its lender, investors and clients. The investigation also revealed that Oxford Collection Agency was actively involved in bribing bank officials.
The complaint alleges that TATE, an Assistant Vice President of U.S. Bank in Ohio from January 2004 through February 2011, was in charge of outsourcing collection accounts to collection agencies, including Oxford Collection Agency. Beginning in approximately August 2008 and continuing for more than two years, Oxford Collection Agency executives engaged in a bribery scheme with TATE in order to obtain and retain the business of U.S. Bank. As part of the scheme, Oxford executives initially provided TATE with boxes of expensive cigars, and subsequently sent TATE monthly cash payments of between $2,500 and $5,000, which were hidden in cigar boxes and mailed to TATE’s residence in Mason, Ohio.
U.S. Bank received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
U.S. Attorney Fein also stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan, Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds and Deputy U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
In December 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and several law enforcement and regulatory partners announced the formation of the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force, which is investigating matters relating to insider trading, market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, investor fraud, financial statement fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and embezzlement. The task force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section and Antitrust Division; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Office of the Chief State’s Attorney; State of Connecticut Department of Banking; Greenwich Police Department and Stamford Police Department.
Citizens are encouraged to report any financial fraud schemes by calling, toll-free, 855-236-9740 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
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